The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a federal law that requires all employers to offer their employees a safe working environment. Michigan also has its own workplace safety law, and employers must follow the state's own laws, regulations, and standards governing workplace safety. Some recognized workplace hazards include broken equipment, unsafe practices, failures to use safety equipment, failures to train employees in safety measures, and toxic fumes. If you are hurt on the job, the Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids workplace accident attorneys at Neumann Law Group can help you explore your options for pursuing your losses. Each year for the past several years, experienced job injury attorney Kelly Neumann has regularly secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases, and she is also skilled in workers' compensation claims.Establishing Liability for Workplace Accidents
Some workplaces have especially significant hazards. Construction sites, for example, are known to be very dangerous places. However, hazards and the potential for significant injuries exist in offices as well. For most workplace injuries, your only recourse against your own employer is workers' compensation. This is a state program that will reimburse medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other losses that arise due to job-related injuries.
Generally, workers' compensation benefits may not be equivalent to what you could receive in a personal injury lawsuit, but unlike in a personal injury lawsuit, workers' compensation benefits are supposed to be provided without regard to fault. This means that even if you are fully to blame for your own injuries, the insurer will still compensate you, provided that you are eligible for these benefits.
In some cases, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit for personal injuries against a third party as a result of workplace hazards. For example, if you are an employee of a subcontractor on a construction site, you may be able to sue a general contractor for injuries sustained due to a dangerous condition in a common work area shared by a number of workers.
Under the common work area liability theory, you can potentially recover damages from a general contractor with supervisory authority over the construction site, if you were injured in a common work area shared by employees of more than one subcontractor, there was a readily observed workplace hazard that could have been avoided, and this created a risk of harm to many workers.
Another avenue that may be worth exploring if you are injured as the result of a workplace hazard is a product liability case. For example, if you are injured as the result of a defective machine, you may have grounds to sue the manufacturer of the machine. You will have to establish that the machine had a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect and that the machine had not been altered since it left the manufacturer's control. Most product liability cases in Michigan are brought under a theory of negligence, which means you will have to prove that the manufacturer's conduct fell below the applicable standard of care.Explore Your Options with a Workplace Accident Attorney in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Workers in Michigan may encounter many different kinds of workplace hazards. Your employer has an obligation to follow state laws regarding safe workplaces. Although workers' compensation is most often the primary remedy for injuries, in some cases, there may be grounds to bring a third-party claim against someone other than the employer. If you or a loved one suffers injuries on the job, you should consult the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City workplace accident lawyers at Neumann Law Group. We represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in California and Massachusetts. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney.